Manchester United’s man of the moment, 18-year-old Adnan Januzaj, savior of the Red Devils’ weekend, is all over the news these days.
The starting point for this recent starburst of awareness, of course, was his breakout Saturday, the heroic two-goal showpiece in United’s win over Sunderland. Soon dropped the lauds and plaudits, some from respected players in the game.
Even the big media properties on our side of the Atlantic quickly jumped into the dog pile on this one, as The New York Times penned this extensive piece. It’s a good place learn a bit about the 18-year-old midfielder’s national team choices – and what a difficult decision this will be.
And just as the excited chatter about which national team this talented young figure might choose, right on cue came the reports that England’s FA have contacted Manchester United manager David Moyes to request his services right soon. That report came out just earlier today.
All this for a skinny kid (really … that’s what he is right now) who was playing briefly in the United States just a few months ago. The venerable Dr Pepper Dallas Cup, long one of the world’s top youth tournament’s in terms of quality, has a lengthy list of top pros who came through as wee lads, Landon Donovan, Wayne Rooney and David Beckham included.
Januzaj was creating some of the Dallas Cup chatter in the spring as Manchester United fell just short of getting out of group play. After helping United down Mexico’s Club America, Januzaj scored twice as his club upended the Dallas Texans to make it two wins in two matches for the opening round. But the Belgian product sat out in the group play finale, watching as United fell to Japan’s Kashiwa Reysol, missing out on a spot in the tournament semifinal.
(The photo above is from this year’s Dallas Cup, courtesy of the Dallas Cup.)